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Is it a red flag or should I be grateful to be told the truth?

(48 Posts)
penguinplease Fri 01-Jan-16 16:07:50

Met a guy online, met him for a drink twice and he's nice. Split from his long term relationship about a year ago and has 2 dc who he obviously adores.
He was telling me his ex is nice and they very much parent together as much as they can which sounds great but made me wonder why they split.
So I asked him and his honest response was he was awful to her, treated her very badly and very much regrets it.

I guess I'm glad he was honest but what if anything do I do with that info? Should it put me off or is his past relationship none of my concern?

ThreeRuddyTubs Fri 01-Jan-16 16:08:56

Well I would wonder what has changed and I think I would probably run a mile if a bloke said that me to

ImperialBlether Fri 01-Jan-16 16:12:13

Christ, I'd run as fast as I could! Good for her for getting rid.

Seeyounearertime Fri 01-Jan-16 16:13:48

If every person that ever lost someone never learnt from mistakes they made then no one would have more than one relationship.

I'd worry more how he treats you, not how he treated someone in the past, after all, he made those mistakes and should no know what not to do.

abbsismyhero Fri 01-Jan-16 16:15:09

i would run sorry he is telling you exactly what he is like in a relationship and it doesn't sound good im all for honesty but i would take that as a warning

Potatoface2 Fri 01-Jan-16 16:16:08

goodness....give the bloke a chance...just keep it casual at the moment and see how it goes...he hasnt told you in what way he treated her badly...you cant judge on not knowing the whole story...at least hes honest and didnt give you 'she was a complete bitch' scenario!

Pipistrella Fri 01-Jan-16 16:19:53

Yes it should put you off.

Even if he does regret it a year isn't nearly long enough to have figured out why he did it and how to avoid doing it again.

Sounds like a sustained behaviour set anyway - why would you want to be with someone who behaved that way to someone else?

Maybe a 20 years ago mistake, yes, well I was a dick when I was 20 and I regret that. Difference being it's been a good while since, and I'm a lot wiser 20 years later.

If you now continue and he starts being an arsehole (might not for a year or two) then he can say 'well I told you what I was like'.

Also you have a possibly very unhappy ex situation on your plate if you become his partner. There is no resolution yet clearly. It doesn't sound like he has let go or moved on.

It just has NO all over it, this one - sorry

abbsismyhero Fri 01-Jan-16 16:22:21

I'd worry more how he treats you, not how he treated someone in the past, after all, he made those mistakes and should no know what not to do.

see my ex was like this i assumed he would never treat me the way he treated her as they treated each other badly (she was arrested for DV) imagine my surprise when he ripped my son from my arms and said he would use the scratches on his arm from me as proof to the police i attacked him it was only my other two children telling him flatout that they would tell the police he attacked me and my dd which stopped him he still told people i hurt him when ss got involved my five year old was asked about it he said daddy snached my brother shoved mommy my sister and me and threatened mommy with the police her finger was bleeding and i was sad i told daddy off he shouldn't hurt us i felt like such a failure i was warned what he was like yes we had some good years but i should have listened

i would never take that risk again

tanyadm Fri 01-Jan-16 16:23:00

I agree that you don't know what he is defining as treating her badly, so don't jump to the worst conclusions.

Also, that scenario is exactly my relationship with my ex. We still get on well and co-parent, but don't love each other. I am dabbling in dating. If we wanted to be together, we would.

penguinplease Fri 01-Jan-16 16:27:20

Sorry. I didn't mean not to tell all.
He did tell me how he was awful because I asked. He said he would ignore her, belittle her and generally just wasn't her support system, he said she used to beg him to try and for him to make some effort and he just wouldn't/couldn't.
She stuck with him for many more years than he deserved which he acknowledges and he is genuinely remorseful and says losing his family was a huge shock and made him totally refocus on who he is and the mistakes he made.

I do like him, I appreciate his honesty but the old 'when someone tells you who they are believe them' quote is ringing in my head.
It's very early days but I don't know if I should politely walk away now or does everyone deserve a second chance?

Arfarfanarf Fri 01-Jan-16 16:29:28

I'd be concerned. You'd be a fool not to be.
I would want to know more about it. What was 'badly'? What was 'awful' How long for? Months, years? Why didnt he realise in all that time that he was being awful? Or didnt he care until she finally left him? Are his 'sorrys' really more 'poor me'?

Hissy Fri 01-Jan-16 16:32:37

Thing is, abusers almost never, ever acknowledge what they have done.

The very few that do only do so when they lose it all.

If you like him then give yourself the amber light and proceed with caution, but never forget that he has told you what he had been capable of.

penguinplease Fri 01-Jan-16 16:34:22

Yes, it doesn't look good. They were together 14 years, he says he was only nice for maybe the first two and he took for granted her support of him and her desperate wish to keep her family together. I think he probably killed her self esteem as he said since leaving him she has blossomed and it hurts him to know he stifled her for so long.

We did have a big talk about it, I am not convinced he's really over losing her or is it just losing he's upset about?
I think maybe this is too complicated for me. He is the only nice guy I've met online so far, ironically.

wickedlazy Fri 01-Jan-16 16:34:40

I said things like this when I broke up with dp. I felt really bad about my part in the break up, and still loved him, but thought he'd stopped loving me and tried to move on. But he felt as crappy as I did and we got back together and are really happy now. We changed. I reckon ask him does he miss her and see how he reacts. If he genuinely has moved on, give him another chance. Hopefully the regret means he's learnt a lesson.

wickedlazy Fri 01-Jan-16 16:37:18

I think you should take it slow. 14 years is a long time. Are you the first woman he's dated since they broke up?

hownottofuckup Fri 01-Jan-16 16:40:19

I think its good he recognises and acknowledges how he behaved badly, and is honest about it too.
People make mistakes, they mature. I know I'm not the same person I was 5 years ago.
It does take time though.
If you like him, I'd continue to see him but keep in mind this information he has already shared with you.
However, I might also be wary that from the sounds of it, he may well still carry quite a flame for ex and would really rather be back with her.
Could be wrong and projecting though!

Arfarfanarf Fri 01-Jan-16 16:40:20

Xpost.
Yes id be concerned. You cant not know that you're tresting someone that badly.
She used to beg him and he still didnt care?
He only 'cared' once he lost his home comforts?
Then all of a sudden it dawned on him that all those years his wife weptand begged actually meant something

I wouldnt give him a chance.

If you do, id honestly advise you give him only the one.

penguinplease Fri 01-Jan-16 16:41:01

No he said he's had lots of dates where he's seen them a few times and it's not come to anything .
Is that a bad sign too?

Pipistrella Fri 01-Jan-16 16:41:42

I would actually question, in my own mind, why he is telling you this in so much detail. It's very personal and very early to be laying all this on you.

He's not over it. You're his counsellor at the moment I think.

Be aware also that sometimes they tell you the better stuff but not everything - I had a boyfriend who said he was glad we hadn't met when he was younger, as I probably wouldn't have liked him in those days.

He didn't elaborate and I didn't dig around.

It was like he could excuse himself because he'd given me a sort of warning.

Later it transpired that he had a violent history that had involved the police. Naturally he wasn't the one who told me.

Pipistrella Fri 01-Jan-16 16:43:27

They probably all liked him too till he started coming out with this shit.

Join the merry throng OP smile

Trust your instinct

wickedlazy Fri 01-Jan-16 16:50:11

He's had a few flings since. But it's the ex he focuses on? Not a red flag just where he is in life atm. Is he talking about all this on dates? You could get the the stage where you're sick of hearing about her. Does he mention the kids much?

questionsquaddie Fri 01-Jan-16 16:50:24

I think he told you "as a weapon" to get inside your head and try to goad you into intimacy - I do believe people can change, but why would he share that information after two dates?

It's like he's now manipulated you into seeing him as some tragic figure, and he's now got a "told you so" excuse.

He wants a rescuer, not a girlfriend.

I think maybe he "tests" women by telling them this straight away (so you think you're special, because he trusts you enough to confide in you) and then one who isn't put off by this will be the one who takes on all his shit and drama later on.

Things should be light and fun and "what restaurant shall we go to?" at this stage.

timelytess Fri 01-Jan-16 16:55:27

As they say on MN, and has probably already been said on this thread, "He is telling you who he is."
So.... run.

ImperialBlether Fri 01-Jan-16 16:57:42

It sounds like a really awful marriage. That poor woman. The thing is that often marriages are bad because both parties behave badly. He's freely admitting (very, very early on) that he was completely to blame.

He behaved like that for more than ten years. It's now a year on and he's been dumped and she's flourished (good for her.) However, his only real experience of relationships is where he behaves very badly and she pleads with him to change.

I really wouldn't want to be involved with someone like that.

Bakeoffcake Fri 01-Jan-16 17:02:22

So he "belittled her, ignored her and didn't support her"

Why would you want to be with someone who would treat their wife like that? He sounds emotionally abusive.

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